L.L.L.L.LOVE Focaccia!! It is known by many names all over Italy…
Focaccia in Genoa, Schiacciata in Firenze and Puglia, Pinze in the south…
I have been making a sort of focaccia for years, not really focaccia, well maybe a NZ one but not like the real thing…
Tasty but wanted some focaccia with olive oil pools and salt!!
In Lucca is a baker’s, Forno Casali, that has the BEST focaccia, I have tasted…….EVER!!
There is a nice little piece on this bakery….and focaccia.
So, I was sitting there the other day dreaming of bread, as I do ….And I had this craving for the Casali focaccia……….
Now sadly the chance of me going to Lucca to get it then, was zero!! A big FAT zero…
Not even the thought of the Pizza di pasqua at home or the Bolanzese buns I was going to make helped!! GRRRRR
Disillusioned, I decided I had to make my own, not the bastardy NZ one, but the one like proper Italian Focaccia.
SO here we are, Focaccia……………True Focaccia…
let’s get YEASTY!!!
What will you need???
A strong will power not to eat this ALL within an hour.
I know, you laugh BUT I kid you not.
It is sooooooo light, It is so tasty…you will just pick away and then …..
ITS ALL GONE!!!
Without further ado…
Michelle’s Frigging Fantastic Focaccia!!
3tsp of dried yeast
1/3 cup of warm water
2 and 1/4 cups of room temperature water
1/4 cup Olive oil plus a little more for topping…
8 cups of Strong bread flour
1 tbsp salt
Rock salt/ sea salt for sprinkling (or in my case, heaping on!!)
Stir yeast into small amount of warm water and allow to stand until frothy.
Mix olive oil into yeasty mix plus the 2 + cups of RT water.
Add the salt and 2 cups of the flour to this mix and stir until smooth.
Add in remaining flour, small amounts at a time until dough has come together.
Knead for 10 minutes on lightly floured board or 10 minutes with dough hook on medium in mixer.
Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with gladwrap and let rise for 90-120 minutes.
Put risen dough on lightly floured board/area and form shape you want.
I did rectangle as that was the shape of the pans I had but you can do oval or round or even diamond if you want..
The pans MUST be well oiled.
Place dough on pans and cover with damp tea towel and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
Remove tea towel and poke (as above) your fingertips all across the bread.
This will create the pools in which the Olive oil and salt will sit ….MMMMMM
Cover again with damp tea towels and allow to sit for 2 hours.
This will double the size of the dough.
About 30 minutes before end of third rise, preheat the oven to 210 celsius
I put some olive oil in a small spray bottle and sprayed generously over the bread (see above) then sprinkled the salt……
You could also sort of drizzle the oil too if you have no spray bottle……..
Just be careful…
i started out spraying then had a wee drizzle………..
I probably wouldn’t use the pastry brush as it tends to ruin the indentation no matter how light handed you are…
Place bread in the hot oven…
You can spray water in there to keep it very moist if you wish…
Bake for 25-35 minutes and remove from the oven.
You need to take the bread from the pan straight away to cooling racks so the bottom doesn’t get soggy.
Allow to cool, if you can, or eat it fresh from the oven.
The very sad thing with this bread is you need to eat it ALL on the day you make it. How sad!!
Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy!!
Please note that my photo’s reflect half the recipe givenabobve (as i didnt have 8 cups of flour) and it still made two focaccia’s.
I will be making all of it next time!!
Recipe adapted from Carol Bakers “The Italian Baker” 2 Ed.